Michael Link
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I enjoy playing against the TGS solitaire Robot, although it helps to have a larger goal/campaign to try and complete to give the solo experience more meaning. To that end, I am attempting to play all start worlds vs. all start worlds with all expansions. This will hopefully help evaluate my play strengths and weaknesses, which start worlds give the robot the greatest advantage, and ways to gain an advantage over that cardboard monster. It is going to take quite some time to complete, however, as it requires playing 240 games. Due to the difficulty of the games and the time required to painstakingly shuffle all those cards, it takes me 30-40 mins per game. The demands of work, married life, and two kids make it rough to devote that kind of time to a solitaire game. Fortunately this is my wife's favorite game, so we get plenty of 2PA plays!

I'm now 60 games deep, or 25% complete, with the project. Here's how things are shaking out so far (all games on Hard difficulty):

Total Record: 37-23
Record Playing As:
Old Earth………………………..3-1
Epsilon Eridani…… .………..2-1
Alpha Centauri…….…………0-1
New Sparta……………………..4-1
Earth’s Lost Colony…………2-0
Separatist Colony……………3-0
Ancient Race…………………..3-0
Damaged Alien Factory……2-2
Doomed World………………..2-0
Rebel Cantina………………….2-3
Galactic Developers…………2-4
Imperium Warlord………….1-4
Galactic Scavengers…………2-2
Uplift Mercenary Force…….4-2
Alien Research Team………..4-0
Rebel Freedom Fighters……1-2

Record Vs.:
Old Earth………………………….3-1
Epsilon Eridani…………………2-1
Alpha Centauri………………….4-0
New Sparta………………………1-1
Earth’s Lost Colony…………..3-1
Separatist Colony………………6-0
Ancient Race……………………..2-2
Damaged Alien Factory………1-1
Doomed World…………………2-6
Rebel Cantina……………………2-1
Galactic Developers…………..3-1
Imperium Warlord…………….1-1
Galactic Scavengers………….2-2
Uplift Mercenary Force……..1-1
Alien Research Team…………3-2
Rebel Freedom Fighters…….1-2

Notes of Interest:
High Score: 80 (as RFF)
Low Score: 27 (as IW)
Robot High Score: 83 (as IW)
Robot Low Score: 8 (as AR)
Highest Losing Score: 80 (see above)*
Lowest Winning Score: 28 (as OE)
Robot Highest Losing Score: 68 (as DW)
Robot Lowest Winning Score: 42 (as AR)
Smallest Winning Tableau: 4 cards
Record by No. of 6-Devs Robot Claimed**:
0: 1-0
1: 1-1
2: 2-2
3: 1-4
4: 1-2

*Yes, my highest score attained was in a losing effort. The robot scored 81 that game. It is a minor miracle that my RftG set, and my house, are still intact.

**I only started tracking this trend in the last 15 games, so you can see that I was on a small losing streak overall toward the end of this trial.

DISCUSSION:
So far, so good. I wish the numbers pointed to some more definitive trends, but unfortunately 60 games is quite a small sample when comparing 16 start worlds, so there is mainly noise at this point. But a few patterns I am noticing:

1. Explore is the Robot's weakest phase. Robot SC just had a rough time keeping up. The free card leech is on the average better for me than for the robot, and because it is so hard to force him to zero credit, it gives me relatively higher leverage to Trade than usual. This translates to overall better cardflow for me.

2. My play against military has improved, big time. When I first started playing against the Robot, I just could not win anytime he started with a military world. Now I'm even money or better, and I believe it is because my eyes have been opened to Dev-Spam.

3. Dev-Spam is actually extremely effective against the Robot. Yes the dev-chits hurt, especially on Hard, and his placing a 6-dev card hurts even more. It has such a big effect that I have started tracking this in my stats, see above. However, the develop phase poses some liabilities for the Robot. First, he has to have credit to place a 6-dev. Second, he has to spend a credit to place ANYTHING on a robot response (and there are a bunch of devs yielding 0 points). Third, no cards are added to the draw stack on a response, and only 1 on a robot action. This is often the single best way to attack his draw stack. Fourth, the die has 2 dev symbols, so you always get a 1/3 chance of a robot roll, making it worth sitting back and waiting to leech. 9 points is only 9 points: who cares if he ends up placing a dev chit if you leech the phase for a 6-cost of your own that ends up scoring 15 points? I just have no idea why both I and the robot have so far done piss poorly with GD--it remains to be seen if this is just random flux or if GD is actually not as strong in solitaire play.

4. I undervalue Produce/Consume. P/C against the robot got a bad name in the early days of robot Old Earth (see many threads in TGS forums). However, if you can get a good consume engine going quickly, it can bring a definitive end to the game before the robot has a chance to crush you with its high-scoring plays. You just have to be ready to abandon it to aim for more 6-devs if he blasts his economy size past you or if he throws down too many dev-chits or big worlds.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marcin B.
Poland
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I almost can't believe that. I played with the robot about 16 times (on easy), and won only 2 games!

Sir, how do you do THAT?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Arturo Siles
Spain
Barcelona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I did the same with the first expansion, and played about 144 games. My stats were poor, with only about 40% wins at standard level.
After brink of the war I didn't play solitaire against the robot, but against the AI with the PC.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Q !

Alaska
msg tools
mbmbmb
mbork wrote:
I almost can't believe that. I played with the robot about 16 times (on easy), and won only 2 games!

Sir, how do you do THAT?


A few semi-educated guesses:

The bit about "dev-spam" says a lot. Making the robot flop lots of cards without drawing very many increases the chances that phases where it does draw cards will end up with little of worth, if anything. And once you wreck the robot's credit; the only way it'll go back up is if it rolls explore or consume-trade.

Which leads me to conclude that as much as getting your own "engine" going is important; denying the robot what it needs to get its going is at least as important, if not more so.

And typically, the way to do it is going to lie in not choosing the phases the robot "wants". With (I think) 3 asterisks on the dice, the robot is quite often going to pick the same phases you do. Make the robot "hard" roll the phases it wants and it's less likely to bite you in the end.

It's rather ironic that the solitaire game has the most opportunities to screw with your opponent.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Link
msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I tend to choose develop when the robot has anything but 3 credits, and I almost never choose Explore/Develop unless I don't care if he copies my dev call. It's really the robot response that you're aiming at. I really like calling dev when the robot has 2 credits. If he rolls a dev naturally, he would have gotten his dev-chit anyway, but at least you get the discount, and if he doesn't copy you, he will either exhaust his draw stack or spend down to 1 credit. Now you are protected from a natural dev roll next time. Similar thought process for when he has 4 credits: Yes, you hand him a free dev-chit even on a response, but by spending 3 for it, you avoid him placing 2 in a row (if he only spends 2 for it, he is still primed to place a second one next turn).

On the easy and medium difficulties, you can essentially ignore the robot's credit meter, but on hard, it is very important to keep track of it and go out of your way to keep it low. This also involves things like calling double develop and double settle to greatly increase the likelihood of the robot spending at least one credit. Or more poetically, "Call double phase to make sure the robot pays" =)

It is also good to set up your consume and produce powers so you get cards for calling produce, yet leech VP chips off of the robot's consume rolls. This gets you your cards for calling produce, rather than trade, which again usually nets less credits for the robot, as he will very likely star copy your trades for 2 credits.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Serge Levert
Canada
Vancouver
British Columbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great work and excellent strategy advice. I've always felt there was a significant lack of good strategy information for the robot.

theright555J wrote:
*Yes, my highest score attained was in a losing effort. The robot scored 81 that game. It is a minor miracle that my RftG set, and my house, are still intact.

I lol'd!

Record: Best winrate, hard (62%, was 40%)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jon Kolman
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
Interesting stats.

I am a solo gamer and have only just touched on the solo aspect of RftG. Thanks for posting.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.